Court for Intergenerational Climate Crimes

with Jonas Staal and Radha D’Souza


Given the unceasing nature of climate-destroying ecocide within the framework of racial and colonial capitalism, who are the perpetrators and how can they be held accountable? How can the construction of performative and speculative juridico-political processes of climate justice participate in the building of momentum toward the large-scale social transition that is necessary to avoid the worst of environmental breakdown?

— Climate Collective: T. J. Demos, Molemo Moiloa, Susan Schuppli and Paulo Tavares 


Targeting various transnational corporations based in the Netherlands – including the weapons manufacturer Airbus, the fossil-fuel and extractive financier ING, the polluting industry Unilever, and the complicity of the Dutch State in perpetrating intergenerational climate crimes – professor of international law Radha D’Souza and artist Jonas Staal have created The Court for Intergenerational Climate Crimes. Featuring citizen juries and a more-than-human tribunal assembling an ecology of extinct animals, plants, and ammonite fossils – conceived as both witnesses and ecosystem comrades – the court held between September 2021 and January 2022 at Framer Framed, the platform for contemporary art, visual culture, and critical theory and practice in Amsterdam.

For its November event, maat Climate Collective is joined by D’Souza and Staal to discuss this project and key related subjects, including: the role of human and more-than-human witness testimony; the conflicted politics of the rights of nature under late liberalism; and the radical political possibilities and challenges of peoples’ tribunals in advancing social transformation as much as the post-anthropocentric transformation of the social.

The Climate Emergency > Emergence public programme initiative energises critical analyses and creative proposals in moving beyond catastrophism and toward the emergence of environmentally sustainable futures. Interdisciplinary in breadth and international in scope, the programme is conceptualised by the newly-formed 2021 Climate Collective: T. J. Demos (USA), chair and chief-curator, Molemo Moiloa (South Africa), Susan Schuppli (UK), Paulo Tavares (Brazil), geared toward assembling diverse cultural practitioners working at the intersection of experimental arts and political ecology. 


As part of the programme taking place from April until December 2021, the Climate Collective has curated an online video screening series featuring films by a variety of international and local practitioners around themes addressed in the ongoing events.

maat Explorations is a programme framework featuring an ongoing series of exhibitions, public and educational projects delving into the multi-faceted subject of environmental transformation from various scholarly and experimental vantage points – it brings philosophical and political perspectives forward, as well as sociocultural and technological investigations interwoven in speculative and critical practices in the arts and design at large. 


Central to the discursive and critical effort of “maat Explorations” is the establishment of the Climate Collective, a rotating group of experts in the expanded field of contemporary art, design and technology that will each year propose a refreshed vision on the connection between creative practices, ecological thought and politics.



  • Illustration: Lisa Hartje Moura. 



Radha D’Souza is a Professor of International Law, Development and Conflict Studies at the University of Westminster (UK). D’Souza works as a writer, critic and commentator. She is a social justice activist and worked with labour movements and democratic rights movements in her home country of India as an organiser and activist lawyer. She is the author of What’s Wrong with Rights? (Pluto Press, 2018), a critical analysis of neoliberal legal institutions.

Jonas Staal is a Dutch visual artist whose work explores the relationship between art, propaganda and democracy. His work manifests itself internationally in the form of interventions in public space, exhibitions, lectures and publications. Staal completed his PhD research on contemporary propaganda art at Leiden University, the Netherlands. His most recent book is Propaganda Art in the 21st Century (MIT Press, 2019).